Independence Day: Crist Likely to Drop GOP Label

Gov. Crist to make announcement on political future Thursday

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    WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 6: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist campaigns with Republican presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) at Howley's Restaurant and Diner March 6, 2008 in West Palm Beach, Florida. McCain was campaigning in Florida after securing the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Charlie Crist

    Gov. Charlie Crist's fall from Republican Party grace will finally hit rock bottom on Thursday when he is expected to announce that he will run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, according to several news sources citing anonymous sources.

    Crist had ducked the question for the past few weeks, but previously was on the record as saying he would never leave his beloved GOP. And by never, he meant as long as he thought he could beat Miami Republican candidate Marco Rubio, which seems like a long shot now.

    Cruist has until Friday to officially pledge his allegeance to a party or no party at all. He has come out and said he hasn't made any decisions yet, but two supporters said Crist has been making phone calls to campaign contributors telling them they will be supporting an independent run starting Thursday.

    Crist's flip flop could not only mean doom for his political career unless he wins, but it could also spell disaster for the Republican Party, which has been begging Crist to drop out of the race.

    Recent polls have shown that a sure win for Rubio would turn into a three-horse dead heat if Crist went independent. Democrat candidate U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek has been gaining steam and is making the race even closer.

    A press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Crist's hometown of St. Petersburg, where he is expected to announce his intentions. Rubio and Meek have also scheduled press conferences to likely rip Crist no matter what he does.